As you know, alongside the Homes for Britain campaign, the Federation has been working hard to secure important wins for housing associations in the next Government’s long-term plan for housing with three key asks on investment, land and freedoms.
One of those asks – greater freedoms and flexibilities for your business – is now incredibly close to becoming reality. The Government is poised to make a change which could enable you as a housing association with transferred stock to almost double your potential borrowing by valuing your properties differently. But we need your help to make it happen.
The next Government won’t make this change if it’s just the National Housing Federation calling for it – they need to know that housing associations really want to see it happen.
That’s why we need you to let the Government know that this change would help your business and allow you to build many more homes. But there’s not much time – you must take action by 31 May.
The Federation has produced everything you need to let the Government know that you support this change – just click to look at our guidance which outlines exactly what to do and use the template we've provided.
The Federation will, of course, continue to make the case for this change. To help us do that, please let us know if you plan to respond and what you’re sending to the Government, so we can aggregate the full impact this change could have for housing associations.
Thank you very much for your help with this and please let us know if you have any questions.
All the best,
National Housing Federation
Direct line: 020 7067 1021 Switchboard: 020 7067 1010
Further information: what is the change that we could achieve?
Current restrictions (found in Section 133 of the Housing Act 1988) mean that transferred stock is valued as ‘Existing Use Value – Social Housing’, which is only around 30-45% of what the home is actually worth and the lower of two possible valuations for social housing.
The change we are calling for is to remove these restrictions so housing associations would be able to value all of their stock at ‘Market Value Subject to Tenancy’ which equates to around 60% of market value. This would unlock considerable additional borrowing capacity for the development of new affordable homes, at no cost to the public purse.
As a result of our lobbying, at last year’s Autumn Statement the Government committed to consult on increasing the borrowing capacity of housing associations by reviewing how properties transferred from local authorities are valued. This commitment was a direct result of lobbying by the Federation and others in the sector for many months, with the Federation arguing that artificial restrictions on how stock transfer housing associations can dispose of, and value, their homes unnecessarily limits their ability to borrow - and therefore to build more of the homes the country needs.
The consultation has now been published and we really need your help to make sure that the next Government, whatever colour it might be, makes this change.
The consultation closes on 31 May so responses will be looked at by the new Government. We want to show that there’s a landslide of support for this measure, with as many housing associations as possible telling the Government how many extra homes they would be able to build if this change was made.